In its quest to gain a loftier status among the sporty, well-to-do set, Lotus Cars spent the year poaching talent from other British automakers. China’s Geely, which holds a majority stake in the automaker, is expected to loosen the purse strings in pursuit of new models and a greater premium market share, but the human side of the operation needs to be in place before that occurs.
While former Bentley and Aston Martin execs have already hopped on board, the automaker now has a former top Jaguar Land Rover official in the big office, ready to put plans into action. He’s also no stranger to SUVs — a segment Lotus wants a piece of.
There’s been no shortage of hot takes on former Ford CEO Mark Fields’ sudden departure from the big office in Dearborn, but a new report sheds light on the drama occurring at the Blue Oval shortly before Fields “elected to retire.”
Before his replacement by Jim Hackett, Fields reportedly attempted to fire Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, as a way of relieving growing scrutiny on his own performance. It didn’t go they way he had planned.
I spent 33 years in the automobile business, the equivalent of 96 human years. Having worked for car dealerships, manufacturers, an auction house, and an auto finance company, I’m convinced there is no other industry that attracts such a diverse cast of characters. Many of them defied stereotypes: I met car sales people who were honest, ethical and hardworking. I also worked with senior executives of well-respected automobile companies who were total sleazebags.
Throughout the years, I kept meeting the same set of six people over and over. These are their stories. Their names have been changed to protect the guilty.